Guys Care About Their Looks, But It’s Complicated
Less so than girls — who are more strongly judged by their appearance. But they do care.
And no wonder, since looks are one way to gain sex, status and self-esteem. (So no surprise that Casanovas — who want A LOT of sex partners — are especially body-conscious.)
But it’s complicated.
Guys can’t ask other guys to comment on their appearance. As Andrew Smiler explains,
Looking good presents something of a conundrum for guys who date girls. American culture positions fashion as a feminine concern and it assumes that men who are fashion conscious are probably gay because gay men are incorrectly thought to be, “gender inverted.” If you’re a so-called straight guy, this means you can’t routinely ask your male friends to comment on your clothing, and you definitely can’t ask them to go shopping with you. It also means that if you want to show off your ripped abs or comment on your buddy’s chest, you need to say “no homo” before you do so.
And body concerns are rising as ideals grow narrower.
Nowadays, boys not only see plenty of well-cut men on billboards, they can also buy Halloween costumes that give the appearance of big biceps and chests, through the wonders of padding. Or they play with GI Joe or Star Wars characters whose arms and chests have expanded over the years. Male movie stars are becoming more fit and less fat, too.
It’s all making guys feel worse about themselves.
Men who date women want to look bigger, and more muscular. Guys who date other guys are split between wanting that look and wanting a thinner, more toned body.
So some guys are turning to steroids, human growth hormone, supplements like creatine, plastic surgery, and eating disorders to gain the desired look. On that last point, guys are less likely to become anorexic or bulimic than to suffer from “bigorexia.”
And like women, guys tend to overestimate what their partners want.
Too bad that guys are mimicking girls’ body consciousness instead of girls mimicking guy’s generally more healthy body satisfaction.
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